Chances are, at least one of your childhood trips to the mall has included the coming-of-age act of getting your ears pierced. It's probably been your go-to for the sole reasons that not only are those little mall kiosks super affordable, but they also are convenient.
Unfortunately, it's a risky move to make.
Experts warn that heading to a quick retail store or stand to get your ears pierced could have a lot of disastrous side effects.
It's all thanks to piercing guns.
A piercing gun -- or the staple tool used most at your local mall -- may not be as clean as you think. Although stores will state that they disinfect their needles beforehand, piercing guns can't actually be sterilized since they are made of plastic. To properly sterilize a gun would mean that the plastic would melt. So instead, most place resort to just wiping the tool down with an antibacterial wipe.
However, this can prove faulty. The method isn't full-proof for protecting against spreadable diseases including staff infections and hepatitis.
If that hasn't convinced you against piercing guns, this might: the results aren't that great. Since earrings are not as sharp as the needles used by professional piercers, cartilage doesn't react well to the gun. Think of it like this: a gun forcefully punctures the earlobe with often times a dull earring, while a professional using a needle is more deliberate in piercing, so there's less trauma to the tissue. Plus, since the piercing gun isn't as agile as a needle, your options in terms of piercing placement is very limited.
Researchers claim that the biggest risks are for younger children and babies, so when in doubt, parents should opt for other, more established, options instead.
But regardless of your age, make sure to do your research before heading to the nearest shopping center.
Better safe than sorry.
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